UNIFE explore ERTMS at InnoTrans 2022
Posted: 22 September 2022 | Elliot Robinson (Editorial Assistant - Global Railway Review) | No comments yet
UNIFE held a Dialogue Forum at InnoTrans 2022 entitled “ERTMS – A building block on the journey towards a digital and autonomous rail”.
The ERTMS: A key driver for future mobility in Europe panel
UNIFE and its members, composed of representative companies from the entire European railway supply industry, held a Dialogue Forum at InnoTrans 2022 around the topic of ERTMS. The Dialogue Forum was two hours long and was divided into two panels: ERTMS: A key driver for future mobility in Europe and Digitalisation as a pathfinder for autonomous rail transport and the road ahead.
The first panel featured a round table with high-level European decision-makers on the role of ERTMS as a key enabler for future mobility in Europe, it consisted of Matthias Ruete, the European Coordinator at ERTMS, Keir Fitch, the Head of Unit Rail Safety and interoperability at DG MOVE, Jo De Bosschere, the Head of Unit ERTMS and Telematics Application for the European Union Agency for Railways, Ian Colon, Head of Unit Systems Pillar at Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, and Klaus Mindel, UNISIG General Manager at UNIFE.
The second panel was focused more on digitalisation, providing a more technical analysis of how digitalisation will enable autonomous rail transport. There was also an outlook on the challenges and opportunities associated with the further development of ERTMS and the process towards autonomous driving in long-distance transport.
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“2022 is not over yet but it has already been an important year for rail with the CCSTSI revision, the new ERTMS workplan and the launch of the ERSU system plan,” Klaus Mindel, UNISIG General Manager at UNIFE, said. “I am fully in support of the new system plan.”
“The deployment of ERTMS is moving ahead of schedule, however some countries are ahead of others,” said. Matthias Ruete, the European Coordinator at ERTMS, said. “We need a single European system for ERTMS to reach its full potential.”
“To get to a single, clear ERTMS product, we need to make interoperability happen,” Keir Fitch, the Head of Unit Rail Safety and interoperability at DG MOVE, said. “We need the flexibility in order to compete with the automotive industry and the aviation industry.”
“Flexibility must be a feature of the system,” Ian Colon, Head of Unit Systems Pillar at Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, said. “Without it, the system won’t succeed.”
There needs to be a balance between innovation and stability with specifications,” Jo De Bosschere, the Head of Unit ERTMS and Telematics Application for the European Union Agency for Railways, said. “We should strive for compatibility with all but also realise that it is not always possible.”